Here are my thoughts on this past week’s anime.
My, context is a terrifying thing. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the ol’ “misunderstanding-based love triangle”; hopefully they’ll resolve this soon and everyone can just start being friends. Hishiro is remarkably socially stunted, I wonder if there’s some kind of backstory to that. As for our protagonist, well, I’d laugh at Arata’s misfortune if I wasn’t just as out of shape myself…
Tales of Zestiria: The X
Boy, they’re really cranking up the heaviness on this show. In the game, the part where Sorey introduces the Seraphim to Alisha was supposed to be a silly moment, because he’s like “this is my family” and Alisha’s like “who are you talking to”, but here, she just launched right into begging for their help. Though, oddly, I don’t dislike this. I mean, I enjoy the moments of levity in Tales games because they’re what make it a more lighthearted series, but if there was a problem Zestiria had, it was a lack of plot direction. The increase in serious and heavy moments is helping to keep the plot moving forward. I just hope we don’t completely lose the levity, especially when Lailah, the unquestioned pun master, shows up.
The Morose Mononokean
I didn’t think the Mononokean would be sentient. I hope it gets to say more, it seems like a fun, um, room, I guess. Hanae is still a bit on the whiny side, but his earnestness keeps it from irritating me too much. Abeno, on the other hand, really ought to lighten up. I mean, he’s the one making him work there and with minimal explanation on how things work. It should be a little understandable that Hanae is out of his element. I do wonder what the little stone guy meant when he said he was “dangerous”, though…
Active Raid Second
Ooh, upgrade parts. Can’t have a sequel series without some new tech. Speaking of new tech, though, why does Emilia’s Willwear have a little tie on it? I guess when you tell someone to build a power suit, even if it’s for cops or military, they’re going to try and make it as cool looking as they can. I can definitely understand Emilia’s apprehension towards Willwears after being trapped in one for three bloody days (how did she eat?); that’s like being trapped in a personalized coffin. If she wasn’t claustrophobic before that, she probably is now. I also have a feeling that Kuroki’s memory is going to come back into play somewhere down the line. Maybe not in a major capacity, but it’ll have to be addressed at some point.
Re:Zero – Starting Life in a New World
Dear god, Subaru, you gotta work with me here. I’m trying my best to be sympathetic to your situation, but you just keep on crapping the bed with every. single. person you speak to. This is reaching Watamote levels of painful to watch. It sucks what’s going on with the Witch’s Cult and all that, but at some point, he’s just gotta cut his losses and stop making an ass of himself. It’s a goddamn Kobayashi Maru; an unwinnable situation. There’s no happy ending here, at least not that I can see. All that I see is either death by cult murder or death by… what even was that, a dragon? Sure, why not, the world could stand to drop a few more turds on Subaru’s head.
Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak – Future
Welp, three down. I was at least 95% certain Bandai was gonna eat it, but I didn’t expect it to be so soon (I have a friend also watching this show who will be happy he’s gone). That poison looked crazy painful; bleeding out the eyes and all that. Not a nice way to go. And Asahina… well, everyone else watching was pretty sure she was gonna die. I guess I hoped she had plot armor, being from the first game. C’est la vie. Though, speaking of first game survivors, where the hell is Hagakure? It doesn’t look like he was in the building when the attack happened; did he get locked out? Is he even gonna have a part in all this, or is he just gonna be is usual Hagakure self and not really affect anything? As for the traitor, I’m looking at Gekkogahara. I have my theories, let’s leave it at that.
Show by Rock!! Short!!
Are there any girl groups in Japan that deliberately try to appeal to older men by calling them “big brothers”? I sure hope not, because that’s creepy as hell. I’m surprised anyone besides her friends can stand to be in Rosia’s presence for more than about ten minutes, whether in a social capacity or a professional one. I get that Criticrista is one of the headlining bands of the series, but if we could maybe keep their appearances to a minimum, that’d be great.
Mob Psycho 100
Why the hell is Reigan even pretending to be a psychic when he’s so good at massages? Dude should be a masseuse. He’d make way more money, and he wouldn’t even need to lie about his skills. Guess he’s just kind of stupid. Anyways, I wasn’t expecting Mob to join the Body Enhancement Club at the end there, but I guess physical fitness is a good first step to bettering yourself as a person. If he wants to show off to girls, though, he really ought to just get more creative with his powers. Wanna be fast? Try levitating yourself. He’s pretty blatantly powerful, but I guess it’s partially Reigan’s fault for downplaying his abilities so much that he has such low self-esteem.
Sweetness and Lightning
I think the thing about Kohei that I like is that he is by no means a perfect father. He’s excessively negative, he’s not the best problem solver, and he doesn’t always understand the emotions of those around him. But what makes him an admirable person is that in spite of his character flaws, he’s really trying the absolute best he can to be a good father to Tsumugi, and it shows. He genuinely loves his daughter with all his heart and will do anything in his power to make her smile, and I think Tsumugi knows that, to an extent. She knows how hard he’s trying, and she doesn’t want him to think his efforts are going to waste, which is why she took the implication that she did something bad so hard. They’re just a father and a daughter doing the best they can at life, and you really just can’t help but root for them.
Yagami seems like a good boss. She’s not afraid to be nitpicky or critical about her subordinates’ work, but she’s very fair and courteous about it, as opposed to a boss who would call you lazy or incompetent. I think she can tell that Aoba genuinely wants to contribute to the project, and the best way to simultaneously get her to do that and create a good game is to strive for high quality wherever possible. You could tell how proud Aoba was after she got that NPC approved; that’s a genuine sense of accomplishment that really helps create good work.
Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak – Despair
Hmm. I guess Kuzuryu was joking in the game when he said his little sister was the Super High School Level Little Sister. I didn’t know she was a reserve course student. Well, either way, I’m glad we could have some more happy moments before the proverbial fecal matter hits the fan. I just like seeing Nanami smile, honestly. Could’ve maybe done without the sexy soup bit; Danganronpa ain’t an eroge, last time I checked. I liked the advice Tengan gave to Hinata, “don’t fear normalcy.” It’s a good life lesson; having talent is wonderful, but you don’t need it to be happy in life.
This Art Club Has a Problem!
And so we finally meet the mysterious Collette (man, I can’t hear that name without thinking of Tales of Symphonia). The fact that she keeps a locket with a picture of herself in it says a lot about her as a person. I think we all have a friend like that; one that never really understands a conversation, so they just inject moments of pure randomness for levity’s sake (hell, sometimes I am that friend). Speaking of friends, I can’t decide if Usami’s friends are huge trolls or huge meddlers. Or both. They try to get Usami and Uchimaki together, and then make jokes at their expense. But I suppose, Usami’s violent reactions aside, she knows they’re just ribbing her, so it’s ultimately harmless.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
(Due to a weird little flub on my part, I’ve got two episodes worth of thoughts here.)
Ep 2 (Shorts 6-10)
Wow, I think Saiki just took metafiction to a new level. Almost any anime trope you can think of, pastel hair, long internal monologues, impossible strength and healing, was all caused by mind over matter (Saiki’s mind, to be precise). Fourth walls aside, though, I have to agree with Saiki; if psychic powers create such an intricate social minefield, I sure as hell wouldn’t want to have them, though then again, real life isn’t quite as trope-filled as Saiki’s life.
Ep 3 (Shorts 11-15)
Remember, kids, if someone starts monologuing their life story at you, wait til their back is turned, and run away as quickly as possible. I have to wonder why Saiki even bothers to hang around with Nendou and Kaido if they allegedly annoy him so much. I mean, being ordered by your parents to hang out with the weird kid is one thing, but he could’ve just teleported somewhere else the moment he left the house, and Nendou probably would’ve just gone right on with his day. Perhaps Saiki doth protest too much. And at the end there… an actual plot thread? In this show? I’m genuinely surprised, I have to say.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable
Y’know, I think this might be the first supernatural incident in a while that wasn’t caused by a Stand user. Don’t think there’s been any non-Stand stuff since Battle Tendency, unless you count Nukesaku in Stardust Crusaders (but honestly, who cares about Nukesaku). It’s kind of strange how easily Rohan can shift into a secondary protagonist role after only just recently being an antagonist. I guess it’s like Koichi said, his morals are extremely grey, so he can go whichever way the story wants him to. Also, we finally have a glimpse of our Dio for the series, Mister Yoshikage Kira. I know his name and his Stand from All-Star Battle, but I don’t know the majority of his deal, so that’ll be interesting to find out.
Time Travel Girl
Y’know, technically speaking, Ben Franklin isn’t a doctor. He got lots of honorary degrees from universities, but he never got an official doctorate or anything. Not saying he wasn’t a smart cookie, just setting the facts straight. Anyway, I’m noticing a theme in this series of the triumph of science over religion. It could just be a coincidence, since we’ve only met two scientists so far, but in both situations, the power of scientific discovery triumphed over pre-existing notions based on religion. As an avid supporter and lover of all things science, it feels a little empowering to me, though I am mildly concerned that if this show continues in this direction, someone may get their knickers in a twist. Time will tell. Ha. Time. I still think people are buying the fact that Mari’s from the future a little too easily, but I dunno, maybe that’s a side-effect of whatever’s translating her speech into English.
Ah, so that’s why Handa thinks everyone hates him. Y’know, I can relate, actually. For a long time through grade school, I was under the impression that all of my classmates utterly despised me and spread rumors as such. It wasn’t until high school that I had an epiphany that no one was talking about me. Course, difference between me and Handa is that people are talking behind his back; it’s just that it’s all weirdly positive things. We also have our last Handa Squad member, Kondo, who is just enough of an everyman to see how weird Handa’s situations actually are. Hopefully, he’ll provide a steady service as a comical straight man in the future.
Am I the only one who doesn’t really like Ageha? She’s not smart, she’s not skilled, and she’s not even that cute. She’s just kind of vain and annoying. As far as romantic rivals go, she’s rather low tier. Even for a comedy show character, she doesn’t really contribute much to the plots beyond needless complications. If this were an older Rumiko Takahashi anime, she’d be a tertiary character, at best. I’m kind of glad she’s on bad terms with Renge, because the fact that Renge hates her gives me something about Renge to actually like.
Food Wars: The Second Plate
Wow, Takumi got his ass beat worse than Vegeta got beaten by Cell. Kinda fitting, isn’t it? Takumi being the rival character and Mimasaka being a creative copycat, it’s really quite similar to Dragonball Z, just, y’know, with cooking. So now we’ve got Yukihira, our Goku, getting ready to launch a surprise attack of his own. Hopefully, it won’t end with him exploding. Also, just throwing this out there, those semifreddos looked delicious, both of em’. I’m no master of desserts, but I know tasty sweets when I see em’, and I’d kill to eat a pastry like that even once.
(Is it me, or do I say “y’know” a lot? I’m like Rai from Kingdom Hearts II, y’know?)